Lesson: Defining Success across Audiences

Contributed by Elizabeth Alexander, 2014 Goals: To identify audience needs and revise writing accordingly Engage in self-assessment and self-critique for more effective communication with different audiences When to use this: In a unit in which students must revise a piece using a different mode and/or for a different audience Prior Class: Ask students to bring […]

Lesson: The Rhetoric of Comedy

Contributed by Craig Sanders, 2015 Summary: This lesson makes use of the medium of stand-up comedy to help students to understand and rationalize rhetorical argument and its strategies in new ways. By analyzing and demonstrating the rhetorical strategies associated with humor, students build connections with a different mode of discourse and are able to apply […]

Lesson: (Re)Search Parties

Contributed by Whittier Strong Summary: Send your class on a rhetorical scavenger hunt in the library! Students research a text by splitting into teams, each assigned a component of the text’s rhetorical situation to investigate. Later, they report their findings to the rest of the class.   Detailed Description: How I did it: A week […]

Lesson: Sentence Competition

Contributed by Natalie Taylor, 2015   Sentence Competition   Summary: The class is split into two teams for a semester-long competition to create stronger, more argumentative sentences.   Description: Throughout the semester, I collect a number of sentence-level issues that students are having. These issues range from grammatical problems, such as comma splices and subject-verb […]

Prompt: In-class Essay

Contributed by Jen Schell In-Class Essay on Michel Foucault’s “Of Other Spaces’  and Joe McGinniss’ Going to Extremes Take the entire class period to formulate an essay around one or more of the following questions. The essay should be approximately three handwritten pages (single spaced) or as long as it takes to adequately answer the […]

Prompt: Museum of the North and Representations of the Sublime

    Contributed by Jen Schell   The Museum of the North and  Representations of the Sublime Many Alaskan artists–poets, painters, sculptors, photographers–have attempted to capture the sublime in their work. Put more simply, they have tried to represent in an artistic form the special and awe-inspiring qualities of life in Alaska. Other artists prefer […]

Prompt: Up-Close Analysis

Contributed by Jen Schell Analysis of Edmund Burke’s Enquiry Into the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) The selections from Enquiry Into the Sublime and Beautiful that you are about to read are quite difficult.  Part of the problem is that you are dealing with a philosophical book written in the eighteenth-century.  Another issue is that Burke’s […]

Prompt: Collage Essay

Contributed by Jen Schell   Alaska and the Frontier/Wilderness, a Research Collage The research assignment for this class is a bit unconventional. Your goal is to create a  research collage about Alaska and its status as a frontier/wilderness. What is a collage?Collage is term used to describe a certain kind of abstract art in which […]

Lesson: Evaluating Credibility

Evaluating Credibility 1. As a group, we consider things which make an author an authority in their particular field and the context of their subject, publications, research, employment, etc. We choose an author from readings done in the first unit for simplicity. 2. Has the author’s work been peer reviewed? If so, and it’s an […]

Lesson: Entering the Conversation

  Entering the Conversation Activity I. In class discussion, we choose a sample “hot’ controversial research topic, such as abortion (easy to demonstrate), and then brainstorm terms to use for searching for sources. Then, we look at common terms that come up during a simple Google search of “abortion.’ Motherhood, person, moral, freedom, murder, etc. […]

Lesson: Sensory Stations

1. Sight Station ∙ Look at the following six images by Christoph Niemann. ∙ Can you describe them using visual language? ∙ In what ways is the artist playing with metaphor? Sight Station (1)     Name: ____________________________ Date: ______/_______/ 2012 Group # ____ Sight Station ∙ What do you see here? Sound Station ∙ […]

Lesson: How to Analyze a Text

  Group 1: Discuss the author’s attitude toward the subject or theme. Explain what type of essay it is – argumentative, persuasive, exploratory, narrative, or otherwise. Define what the subject or theme of the essay is. * Try to sum up the subject/theme in one word or one sentence. Cite specific sentences or paragraphs where […]

Prompt: Documentary Review

  This assignment can be a nice way of practicing “good research.” Students are required to look critically at the research and presentation of a documentary, and will hopefully incorporate those lessons into their own research writing. THE COVE — CRITICAL REVIEW PURPOSE: To provide a critical review of the documentary, “The Cove.’ INSTRUCTIONS: Watch […]

Handout: How to Write an Abstract

    This handout is attributed to Philip Koopman, of Carnegie Mellon University. A link to his text can be found here:  https://www.ece.cmu.edu/~koopman/essays/abstract.html. It is also copied below:   Because on-line search databases typically contain only abstracts, it is vital to write a complete but concise description of your work to entice potential readers into […]

Garden Gnome Liberation Mini-Project

  What I’d like to offer here is an example of how you can take a similar concept–a seemingly silly non-academic topic–and use it in a classroom on a smaller scale. In my class, before launching the zombie project, we spent several class periods working with garden gnome liberation, and my students had the option […]

Prompt: Engaging in Inquiry

  Assignment: Write a 5-7 page researched essay that identifies and explores an important question related to a contemporary social controversy. Your paper should be followed by a Works Cited page in correct MLA style. Purpose: In Unit 1 we looked at contrasting ideas (they Say / I Say) on a given topic from a […]

Lesson: Print Ad Analysis

Print Ad Analysis For this exercise, I like to bring in some goofy or bizarre advertisement or PSA For the last few semesters, I have used a PSA from PETA that I found at this URL: https://www.mediapeta.com/peta/Images/Main/Sections/MediaCenter/PrintAds/DiegoLunaHR.pdf Here is a citation: “Diego Luna: Safe Sex.” PETA.org. PETA. n.d. Web. 20 Jun. 2011. I like using […]

Lesson: Battle of the Sentences

Bringing the Sentence Workshop (Macro in the Micro) To a New Extreme I used this for my unit on Analysis. It took about 15 minutes. This can be done with student produced sentences, or sentences between texts you wish to compare. For my exercise, I chose Deborah Tannen’s “There is No Unmarked Woman” and Lennard […]

Prompt: Narrative Fan Fiction

PAPER #1: NARRATIVE ESSAY – Fan Fiction REQUIREMENTS: 4-5 pages typed (or more), double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman Font MLA heading and page numbers Rough draft must be edited and signed by a Writing Center tutor. EXPLANATION: For those of you who don’t already know, fan fiction is just what it sounds like: fictional […]